Contax 159 MM

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The Contax 159 MM is a 35mm SLR camera produced by Kyocera in 1985 under the Contax brand name. It is mainly thought of as an upgrade to the Contax 139Q.

This camera has a Contax/Yashica bayonet lens mount. It is compatible with MM lenses which has a metal flange that allows the camera to set the aperture. This is used for shutter and program priority modes. Those modes cannot function without MM lenses.

The shutter is a electronic quartz-timed unit with speeds from 1s to 1/4000, and B. Along with manual shutter selection, the dial has options for:

  • P: Normal program mode (Aperture priority mode with non MM lenses)
  • HP: High speed Program mode 1/1000 (1/1000 shutter with non MM lenses)
  • LP: Low speed program mode 1/60 (1/60 shutter with non MM lenses) and
  • A: Aperture priority mode.

The TTL center-weighted metering system features a Silicon Photo Diode with a range of 0 to 20 EV (ISO 100 with f1.4 lens) with a film speed of 12 to 3200 ISO. While in a program mode the exposure compensation dial make it easy to adjust settings. The dial includes markings for: 1/4: 2 step decrease; 1/2: 1 step decrease; 1X: Normal; 2: 1 step increase; 4: 2 step increase.

The viewfinder has a horizontal split image spot as well as a microprism to aid in focusing. Four optional focusing screens are also available. The finder is illuminated with LED settings. The shutter on the right, while the bottom displays program mode, aperture and exposure compensation. It is compatible with Contax TLA flash systems like the TLA20 or TLA30 units. For flash sync, in any program mode (P, HP, LP, A) it is set at 1/100. In manual mode it can be set up to 1/250. Optional accessories include a Contax 159 Winder W7 has film advance of 3fps, powered by 6x AA batteries as well as a Quartz D6: Data back. The camera weighs 520g, can be powered by 2x SR44 batteries.